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European Union eases up on sustainable packaging

Europe: The European Parliament voted in favour of multiple amendments to the European Commission’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) on 22 November 2023. The amendments remove, modify or make non-binding the PPWR’s 2040 reuse targets. Meanwhile, 2030 targets were made adjustable to recycling rates. Total packaging volumes are still required to drop by 5% by 2030 and by 15% by 2040 in each member state.

Sustainability lobbying organisation Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS) described the introduction of recycling rates into a lower schema of waste targets as ‘comparing apples with pears.’ ECOS attributed the amendments to a ‘barrage’ of false claims, scaremongering and lobbying from industry players.

ECOS programme manager Mathias Falkenberg said “This decision will not sufficiently address rising plastic and packaging waste or the pollution crisis. The European Parliament has just weakened a perfectly feasible solution to tackle throwaway culture without offering an alternative. It is very frustrating that the European Commission’s progressive prevention and reuse agenda has not received full support from the Parliament today.”

ECOS founded the Alliance for Low-Carbon Cement & Concrete (ALCCC), an association of companies focused on alternative building materials production, in May 2023.

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